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A Gaza charity linked to the ruling Hamas militant group is offering $1.4 million to anybody who captures an Israeli soldier.

The Waad group sent an e-mail on Wednesday calling on people living in Israel to try take soldiers hostage.

The organization, which supports Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, is headed by Hamas' Interior Minister Fathi Hamad. He did not return calls seeking comment.

Waad's director, Usama Kahlout, says the offer is in response to an Israeli group's offer to pay Gazans for information on the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit, who has been held in captivity by Hamas for more than three years.

German mediators have been overseeing negotiations between Israel and Hamas to exchange Shalit for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.